LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- LMPD's budget is the biggest in the city of Louisville.
At a proposed $220,496,500 million, this upcoming fiscal year's budget would be $25 million more than last year's original budget of $195,895,700.
Budget Committee Chair Bill Hollander says that is mostly due to a rise in salary and pension cost. That is reflected in personnel services, where the rise is from $178,924,700 last year to $200,647,600 in this year's proposed budget.
Chief Erika Shields is also requesting new technology, including cars, cameras and guns.
She also wants to continue the department's use of DNA testing, which Shields says has led to breakthroughs.
"We submitted 323 pieces of evidence, which impacted 31 different homicides. It led to multiple arrests," Shields said.
Chief Shields also emphasized not just hiring new officers, but also the amount of training that goes into having effective officers that will keep the city safe.
"I've always felt that training was vital for our police department. I wish our former leader had thought the same thing. And so, knowing that Chief Shields recognizes the need that our officers have to have great training. Because we have great officers, we just have to put them in the right place," Council President David James said.
Chief Shields says 48 individuals have been hired onto the force so far this year, and that resignations and retirements have slowed down within the department.
She also emphasized hiring curriculum writers to help rework and update the academic side of policing.
Chief Shields says professional educators will help build bridges between police and communities, adding that all that's needed in some cases is fundamental decency.
While statistically, crime is down, Chief Shields says the number of people killed by violence is not.
There have been 67 homicides since January 1, 2022 and she says there's been a rapid increase in domestic violence homicides. She says between 20-25% of the homicides are domestic violence-related.
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